March 2018

In November 2017, the EE and CS departments hosted the Rising Stars Workshop. We welcomed 70 women from around the world for two days of workshops, panels, and discussions aimed at helping them navigate an academic career.

Rising Stars – now in it's 6th year – was started at MIT with the sole intention of helping women interested in academic careers navigate the process.

At the welcome dinner, Provost Persis Drell encouraged the participants to "always remember that the diversity you bring to the conversation is of enormous value. It's not about them having accepted or allowed you into the room, it's that they desperately need you to be there."

Co-chairs of the event were professors Moses Charikar, Andrea Goldsmith and Fei-Fei Li. They were joined by more than 30 faculty, as well as industry leaders to organize and run the event. The participants were selected from nearly 400 applications.

For the young scholars, hearing from a range of panelists with a variety of backgrounds helped give them the tools and the mindset they need to succeed. Umashanthi Pavalanathan, a doctoral candidate in social computing and natural language processing at Georgia Tech, said that as an international student from Sri Lanka, hearing the experiences of faculty members with similar histories gave her confidence: "When I see role models, I get inspired." Adds Sara Mouradian, a doctoral candidate in quantum information processing at MIT: "When you go to conferences, I'm usually the only one or one of two women in any given room of 50 to 100 people, so it's been great to see all these women." Being here, she says, has been "mind-blowing."

Thanks to all of our participants and support for the 2017 Rising Stars event.


Excerpted from "'Rising Stars' workshop raises visibility for women in engineering," Stanford Engineering, March 14, 2018.

Rising Stars 2017 website.

Graduate student David Lindell and Matt O’Toole, a post-doctoral scholar, work in the lab. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)
March 2018

A driverless car is making its way through a winding neighborhood street, about to make a sharp turn onto a road where a child’s ball has just rolled. Although no person in the car can see that ball, the car stops to avoid it. This is because the car is outfitted with extremely sensitive laser technology that reflects off nearby objects to see around corners.

“It sounds like magic but the idea of non-line-of-sight imaging is actually feasible,” said Gordon Wetzstein, assistant professor of electrical engineering and senior author of the paper describing this work, published March 5 in Nature.

February 2018

Oyekunle Olukotun, Cadence Design Systems Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Stanford University, has been selected to receive the IEEE Computer Society 2018 Harry H. Goode Award. 

The Goode Award was established to recognize achievements in the information processing field which are considered either a single contribution of theory, design, or technique of outstanding significance, or the accumulation of important contributions on theory or practice over an extended time period. 
A well-known pioneer in multicore processor design and the leader of the Stanford Hydra Chip Multiprocessor (CMP) research project, Olukotun is being recognized “for fundamental and sustained effort to create and leverage chip-multiprocessors.”

image credit: L. Cicero
February 2018

Krishna Shenoy and team have been researching the use of brain machine interfaces (BMI) to assist people with paralysis. Recently, one of the researchers changed the task, requiring physical movement from a change in thought. He realized that the BMI would allow study of the mental rehearsal that occurs before the physical expression.

Although there are some important caveats, the results could point the way toward a deeper understanding of what mental rehearsal is and, the researchers believe, to a future where brain-machine interfaces, usually thought of as prosthetics for people with paralysis, are also tools for understanding the brain.

"Mental rehearsal is tantalizing, but difficult to study," said Saurabh Vyas, a graduate student in bioengineering and the paper's lead author. That's because there's no easy way to peer into a person's brain as he imagines himself racing to a win or practicing a performance. "This is where we thought brain-machine interfaces could be that lens, because they give you the ability to see what the brain is doing even when they're not actually moving," he said.

"We can't prove the connection beyond a shadow of a doubt," Krishna said, but "this is a major step in understanding what mental rehearsal may well be in all of us." The next steps, he and Vyas said, are to figure out how mental rehearsal relates to practice with a brain-machine interface – and how mental preparation, the key ingredient in transferring that practice to physical movements, relates to movement.

Meanwhile, Krishna said, the results demonstrate the potential of an entirely new tool for studying the mind. "It's like building a new tool and using it for something," he said. "We used a brain-machine interface to probe and advance basic science, and that's just super exciting."

Additional Stanford authors are Nir Even-Chen, a graduate student in electrical engineering, Sergey Stavisky, a postdoctoral fellow in neurosurgery, Stephen Ryu, an adjunct professor of electrical engineering, and Paul Nuyujukian, an assistant professor of bioengineering and of neurosurgery and a member of Stanford Bio-X and the Stanford Neurosciences Institute.

Funding for the study came from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, a Ric Weiland Stanford Graduate Fellowship, a Bio-X Bowes Fellowship, the ALS Association, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Simons Foundation and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Excerpted from Stanford News, "Mental rehearsal prepares our minds for real-world action, Stanford researchers find," February 16, 2018.


Related News:

Research by PhD candidate and team detects errors from Neural Activity, November 2017.

Krishna Shenoy's translation device; turning thought into movement, March 2017.

Brain-Sensing Tech Developed by Krishna Shenoy and Team, September 2016.

Krishna Shenoy receives Inaugural Professorship, February 2017.


February 2018

Angad Rekhi (PhD candidate) and Amin Arbabian have developed a wake-up receiver that turns on a device in response to incoming ultrasonic signals – signals outside the range that humans can hear. By working at a significantly smaller wavelength and switching from radio waves to ultrasound, this receiver is much smaller than similar wake-up receivers that respond to radio signals, while operating at extremely low power and with extended range.

This wake-up receiver has many potential applications, particularly in designing the next generation of networked devices, including so-called "smart" devices that can communicate directly with one another without human intervention.

"As technology advances, people use it for applications that you could never have thought of. The internet and the cellphone are two great examples of that," said Rekhi. "I'm excited to see how people will use wake-up receivers to enable the next generation of the Internet of Things."

Excerpted from Stanford News, "Stanford researchers develop new method for waking up small electronic devices", February 12, 2018


Related news:

Amin's Research Team Powers Tiny Implantable Devices, December 2017.

Stanford Team led by Amin Arbabian receives DOE ARPA-E Award, January 2017.

Amin Arbabian receives Tau Beta Pi Undergrad Teaching Award, June 2016.

February 2018

Gordon Wetzstein has been selected as a 2018 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Computer Science. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has selected 126 outstanding U.S. and Canadian researchers as recipients of the 2018 Sloan Research Fellowships. Awarded annually since 1955, the fellowships honor early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements mark them as among the very best scientific minds working today.

"The Sloan Research Fellows represent the very best science has to offer," says Sloan President Adam Falk, "The brightest minds, tackling the hardest problems, and succeeding brilliantly—Fellows are quite literally the future of twenty-first century science."

Awarded in eight scientific and technical fields—chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences, and physics—the Sloan Research Fellowships are awarded in close coordination with the scientific community. Candidates must be nominated by their fellow scientists and winning fellows are selected by an independent panel of senior scholars on the basis of a candidate's independent research accomplishments, creativity, and potential to become a leader in his or her field.

Congratulations to Gordon for this outstanding achievement!


The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant making institution based in New York City. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-President and Chief Executive Officer of the General Motors Corporation, the Foundation makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economics.

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Press Release

February 2018

David Tse has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering with the citation, "For contributions to wireless network information theory."

Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature," and to "the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education."

A professor of Electrical Engineering, Tse is the Thomas Kailath and Guanghan Xu Professor of Engineering. Dr. Tse's research interests are in information theory and its applications in various fields, including wireless communication, energy and computational biology.

Previously, Professor Tse was awarded the 2017 Claude E. Shannon Award from IEEE Information Theory Society. Read article.


Please join us in congratulating David for this well-deserved recognition of his profound contributions.


Read NAE Press Release, February 7, 2018

February 2018

University of California, Berkeley EECS alumna Andrea Goldsmith (B.A. '86/M.S. '91/Ph.D. '94) has been awarded the 2018 Berkeley EECS Distinguished Alumni Award. Her citation reads, "For excellence in research and teaching, and for tireless commitment to the advancement of women in the profession."
Andrea is the Stephen Harris Professor in the School of Engineering and Professor of Electrical Engineering.

Distinguished Alumni Awards winners are selected each year by the EE and CS Chairs in consultation with the Berkeley EECS Faculty Awards Committee and with input from the EECS faculty.


Please join us in congratulating Andrea!


Related news:

"Prof. Goldsmith receives the 2017 IEEE WICE Mentorship Award," October 2017

"Professor Goldsmith elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences," April 2017

"Professor Andrea Goldsmith elected to the National Academy of Engineering," February 2017

February 2018

This month, the Electrical Engineering staff recognized for their outstanding effort are Ann Guerra, Joe Little, and Socorro Ungson. Please join us in acknowledging their extraordinary work!

Each were nominated by peers, faculty and/or students who included comments about their professionalism that went above and beyond their everyday roles. Gift card recipients continue to make profound and positive impact in the department's everyday work and academic environment.


Please join us in congratulating Ann, Joe, and Socorro. Modified excerpts from their nominations follow.

Ann Guerra, Faculty Administrator

  • Ann's organizational skills helped my event to go flawlessly.
  • The planning for my project lasted several months, I appreciate her focus and attention to detail.

Joe Little, Principal Systems Architect

  • Joe is very patient and helpful in suggesting possible solutions for improvements.
  • He is very professional, and I appreciate his deep expertise. I'm glad he's part of our team!

Socorro 'Suki' Ungson, Faculty Administrator

  • She is amazing and proactive – I appreciate the help and advice.
  • Suki is a friendly and positive group member.

The Staff Gift Card Bonus Program is sponsored by the School of Engineering. Each year, the EE department receives several gift cards to distribute to staff members who are recognized for going above and beyond their role. Each month, staff are chosen from nominations received from faculty, students, and staff. Past nominations are eligible for future months.

Nominate a deserving staff person or group today! We encourage you to nominate individuals or groups that have made a profound improvement in daily work life. Each recipient receives a $50 Visa card. Nominations can be made at any time.

January 2018

Congratulations to Professor Emeritus Arogyaswami Paulraj.

Paulraj joins 14 other inductees this year, recognized for their inventions that have changed the world. The inductee ceremony will be held on May 3, 2018 at the National Building Museum, Washington D.C.

Paulraj pioneered MIMO—Multiple Input, Multiple Output—a wireless technology that has revolutionized broadband wireless internet access for billions of people worldwide. MIMO improves both transmission data rates and expands network coverage. It is the essential foundation for all current (WiFi and 4G mobile) and future broadband wireless communications.

About the National Inventors Hall of Fame:
The National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) is the premier non-profit organization in America dedicated to recognizing inventors and invention, promoting creativity, and advancing the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Founded in 1973 in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, NIHF is committed to not only honoring the individuals whose inventions have made the world a better place, but also to ensuring American ingenuity continues to thrive in the hands of coming generations through its national, hands-on educational programming and challenging collegiate competitions focused on the exploration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. NIHF has served more than 1 million children and 125,000 educators and interns, and awarded more than $1 million to college students for their innovative work and scientific achievement through the help of its sponsors.

Congratulations to Paulraj for this well deserved, and very impressive, honor!

Read more about NIHF inductee Arogyaswami Paulraj 


Excerpted from National Inventors Hall of Fame.



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February 2014

Three staff members each received a $50 Visa card in recognition of their extraordinary efforts as part of the department’s 2014 Staff Gift Card Bonus Program. The EE department received several nominations in January, and nominations from 2013 were also considered.

Following are January’s gift card recipients and some of the comments from their nominators:

Ann Guerra, Faculty Administrator

  • “She is very kind to students and always enthusiastic to help students… every time we need emergent help, she is willing to give us a hand.”
  • “Ann helps anyone who goes to her for help with anything, sometimes when it’s beyond her duty.” 

Teresa Nguyen, Student Accounting Associate

  • “She stays on top of our many, many student financial issues, is an extremely reliable source of information and is super friendly.”
  • “Teresa’s cheerful disposition, her determination, and her professionalism seem to go above and beyond what is simply required.”

Helen Niu, Faculty Administrator

  • “Helen is always a pleasure to work with.”
  • “She goes the extra mile in her dealings with me, which is very much appreciated.”

The School of Engineering once again gave the EE department several gift cards to distribute to staff members who are recognized for going above and beyond. More people will be recognized next month, and past nominations will still be eligible for future months. EE faculty, staff and students are welcome to nominate a deserving staff person by visiting

Ann Guerra  Teresa Nguyen  Helen Niu



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